12 E-Commerce Best Practices to Follow for Site Navigation & Organization
The world of e-commerce is ever-evolving with new technologies, trends, and techniques to keep up with. At the forefront of these changes is customer experience and convenience, with an emphasis on making the journey from discovery to sale easier and quicker. So, how can this gap be shortened? Efficient site navigation and optimization will be crucial to a successful e-commerce store.
Let’s take a look at 12 e-commerce best practices to follow for website development.
1. Create a UX Focused Design
The rise of e-commerce stores has created insanely saturated markets. So, what’s to stop one user from entering your site and moving on to a competitor? An incredible UX focused design. Usability, usefulness, and desirability play a critical role in low bounce rates (the percent a user visits a page and immediately leaves without visiting another page). Additionally, your brand’s visual elements and messaging should be front and center throughout your website. Any landing page a user may arrive on should be consistent and on-brand.
2. Nail the Main Sections of the Home Page
The home page of your e-commerce store is where users will get to know you. Beyond your alluring branding, what do you actually have to offer? The home page’s main sections should include featured products, categories, products on sale, and seasonal or trending products. A customer comes to your website because they are interested in the type of products you sell, or they have a problem and are hoping your products can be the solution. Don’t litter your home page with everything you offer; choose a select few products that will resonate with first-time buyers.
3. Get Creative with Call to Action Buttons
A captivating call to action (CTA) button will make a customer take the next step. These buttons must stand out (from competitors and other buttons on your site) and fit your brand. The design and copy of a CTA should adhere to your style guide and voice as a company. Ultimately, e-commerce CTA’s should get a user to explore more products, sign up for an email subscription, or complete a purchase. Heatmapping is an excellent way to track where users are clicking on your site and to gather data on what CTA’s may need improvement.
4. Include Search and Filter Options
Users want to find their products quickly and easily. By including a search option, they’ll get to where they want to go—and explore new products. Filters within categories can help narrow down a user’s search results. Depending on what you’re selling, price, color, and type can be incredibly useful to add. These are simple features to add, however, they can play an influential role in creating a positive customer experience within your e-commerce store.
5. Implement Data Collection Tools
Collecting data can be incredibly beneficial to understanding your site users and customers. Here are a few examples of information you should be asking your users:
- Email address—Send email marketing campaigns, including promotions, product launches, and more
- Date of birth—Sending a special discount or gift on a user’s birthday will give a personal touch to your marketing and help build brand loyalty
- Interests—Asking for general interests (i.e., type of products) can help with email list segmentation and website marketing
- Cookies—Website cookies can save a user’s behavior, including login information and history, allowing your website to create a personal experience for the customer
6. Build High Converting Product Pages
At the very minimum, a product page should include an image, description, and price. However, online shoppers are informed more than ever, as they can easily compare between competitors. To increase conversions, include a clear title and description, necessary specifications, and bundling options. Several images and videos are also incredibly helpful to users. Presentation is everything, so only sharp, professionally taken photos and videos should be used on your website. With all of this information readily available on the product page, a user won’t have to leave your e-commerce store to do more research.
7. Construct an Efficient Checkout Process
The last thing you want is for a user to spend time shopping on your online store, only to not make the purchase because of a faulty checkout process—or a skyrocketed total price. Be sure checking out has a simple flow and includes several payment options, no hidden fees, and little to no shipping costs. By making the checkout process as easy as possible for the user, you’ll increase the likelihood of sales.
8. Install an Integrated ERP System
An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system will help you integrate and scale your business. Integrate your ERP system with all of your business applications, such as the e-commerce front-end, accounting, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), inventory, and other databases and data points. The accuracy and efficiency of your business operations will increase significantly with a connected and synchronized ERP system.
9. Get Started with Foundational SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) should be part of your marketing efforts; it’s an excellent way to boost your e-commerce store’s organic traffic. Every page should include a keyword, metadata (title tags and description), header tags, and alt text for quality images. While keyword-stuffing can negatively impact your SEO rankings, strategic keyword placement can increase your standing.
10. Include a Live Chat Feature
Without a physical location, users may feel a lack of human connection to your brand. However, a live chat feature will instill a level of professionalism, trust, and care. Users will be able to ask questions and discover new products. This communication can increase the average basket size and conversion rate among your customers.
11. Inspire Trust Between Your Customers and Company
If a user finds your e-commerce store without a referral, they may wonder just how trustworthy your site is. Display customer reviews, security badges, and press logos to further legitimize your online shop. Now, users will feel more comfortable purchasing a product and entering their credit card, or another payment type, on your website.
12. Optimize Your E-Commerce Store
Let’s wrap this up by getting back to our first point: creating a fast, easy, and convenient customer experience. As social media, voice search, and mobile browsers are dominating traffic sources, your e-commerce store must be optimized properly. Create a mobile-friendly website that includes simple navigation and a clean design. For both your desktop and mobile version, speed is everything. Even a five-second loading time could prompt a user to exit and try another store.
How Can You Get Started Building a Successful E-Commerce Store?
With so many platform options available—Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and more—you’ll want to work with a professional e-commerce website developer to get started. Kraus Marketing is experienced in branding, web design and development, and digital marketing. We have all of the tools ready to make your e-commerce shop a success. Contact us today to start your project.